Almost a decade ago, Clint Hacker traded the Arizona sunshine for the sub-zero temperatures of the North Dakota winter, migrating north along with thousands of others to join in a modern-day gold rush as oil production boomed in the Bakken shale.

This year, he was forced to lay off two-thirds of workers at his oilfield services company as the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the state’s oil sector into a downturn unprecedented in both speed and magnitude.

“I think it’s probably the worst times the Bakken has seen—or maybe that the oil and gas industry, in general, has seen,” said Hacker, now CEO of Nodak Oilfield Services.

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